Monday, March 02, 2009

A Little Exercise in Futurism

Reading about the economic tumult in which our nation finds itself, I have come across little bits and pieces of information that paint an even grimmer picture for Europe and Asia. We’ve been so consumed with our own problems, that most of these stories have been buried and put on the proverbial back page. However, when you look for the information, there is an abundance of it – and it scares the hell out of me for several reasons, first and paramount among them being the long-term security of the United States.

There appears to be the real possibility of unrest in the Ukraine as major banks fail and its citizens are being locked out of their bank accounts. It’s an ominous sign, and not because the same thing could happen here (it could), but because nations like the Ukraine and other eastern European countries have been very friendly to the United States. They have (up until now) provided a sturdy bulwark against the designs of Putin’s Russia. And as they begin to topple like dominoes, the notion of Russia stepping in as savior seems less the vision of fantasy, and more like a real possibility.

If you push this scenario even further, there’s another element to consider. The people of these nations have a history of turning to strongmen when things go south. And as unpopular as saying such things can be, I’m afraid the same can be said for much of Europe. Just look at how Germany has utterly capitulated to the Russians. I quote from Stratfor:

NATO faces a substantial split, conditioned partly by Germany’s dependence on Russian energy, but also by deep German unease about any possible resumption of a Cold War with Russia, however mild. The foundation of NATO during the Cold War was the U.S.-German-British relationship. With the Germans unwilling to align with the United States and other NATO members over Russia or Afghanistan, it is unclear whether NATO can continue to function.
Now granted, Germany’s thick headedness is clouded by their attachment to Russia’s energy-teat and not so much by a love for Russian leaders. But still, on whose side shall they stand when push comes to shove?

And things aren’t any better back home, where Obama plans to relinquish American plans for a missile defense shield in Europe if only the Russians can help us in dealing with Iran. Clearly, America is no longer interested in projecting strength. Now it’s all about maintaining celebrity status.

So my question is this, do any of you see a scenario where a weakened United States and an economically devastated Europe might lead to the creation of a new political strongman there, who uses his position to intimidate and threaten the west while his policies give Europe and Russia the visions of power that they so desperately crave? Does anyone get the feeling that there is something more sinister at work here?

Let’s speculate!


Brian Fox said...

That is very interesting information and something that I will now look into for myself. I agree with your assumptions, the problem is when you ask a liberal to face possibilities of things to come, they only want to hold hands and sing Kumbiya. (probably misspelled) This leads me to believe that we will not hear about any of these possibilities until they turn up and smack America in the face.

Daniel said...

Whetever the case, this is going to fester for at least 4 years, since there is zero chance of the current administration chiding or critizing Europe (their role model) period....
The thing that will mitigate it a bit is that the Europeans are conflicted... they are completely apathetic about pretty much everything but also, conversely, want to be listened to and be a player.

The Hansen Family said...

With a coward as a President, and a White House Press Office who feels the need to combat every talk-show host (by name) that bad-mouths them, this President acts more like a student body president than a President of the United States. The world leaders are seeing through Obama. He is relying too heavily on his charisma, and people are seeing through the "smoke and mirrors" to empty rhetoric.